PepsiCo Puts Money into a Brand-New Lay’s Potato Chips Factory in India’s Assam Region

PepsiCo is currently in the process of constructing a new Lay’s crisps manufacturing facility in India. The estimated cost of this project is approximately $95 million.

PepsiCo Puts Money into a Brand-New Lay's Potato Chips Factory in India's Assam Region

The Nalbari factory, situated in the northeastern region of Assam, spans across an expansive 44 acres and is projected to commence operations by the year 2025. This initiative is set to generate employment opportunities for approximately 500 individuals, both directly and indirectly.

This week, a ceremonial inauguration took place, graced by the presence of Dr. Himanta Sarma, the State Minister, and Eugene Willemsen, who serves as the CEO of PepsiCo’s Africa, Middle East, and South Asia (AMESA) division. Additionally, Ahmed ElSheikh, the region’s president, was also in attendance at the event.

PepsiCo, as part of its commitment to a local training initiative, has made a pledge to maintain a workforce that comprises “at least” 75% female employees at its newly established Nalbari plant. This initiative marks a significant step for the US-based snacks and beverages manufacturer as it establishes its presence in Assam with this plant.

Willemsen expressed, “India stands as one of the most rapidly expanding markets for PepsiCo within the AMESA region. Our dedication to this nation includes substantial investments to bolster our production capacity. As we enter this pivotal decade for India, PepsiCo places a strong emphasis on fostering essential capabilities, enhancing product availability, and broadening our reach throughout the country.”

PepsiCo made its foray into the Indian market in 1989, introducing a range of popular products that have since become household names. Among its offerings in India are the well-received Quaker breakfast cereal brand, the crunchy and flavorful Kurkure snacks, as well as a selection of refreshing beverages that include Pepsi, Tropicana, and Gatorade.

A representative from PepsiCo in India informed Just Food that the company boasts a network of 58 factories scattered throughout the nation. Presently, four of these facilities are exclusively designated for food production, strategically situated in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Punjab, and Maharashtra. The impending addition of Assam will mark the fifth location dedicated to food production within India’s borders.

Lay’s crisps, a beloved snack, will continue to rely on locally sourced potatoes for their production. Approximately 50,000 tonnes of potatoes are expected to be procured annually from the state of Assam. Moreover, PepsiCo has ambitious plans to establish a cold storage facility in the near future, with an envisioned capacity of 60,000 tonnes, aimed at efficiently preserving the potato supply for their crisp production needs.

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The Nalbari facility is committed to implementing sustainable practices, including the utilization of 80% renewable energy sources and the sourcing of packaging materials from local suppliers.

Minister Sarma affirmed, “Our goal is to reshape Assam into a top-tier destination for investments. I can guarantee PepsiCo our unwavering backing for their forthcoming greenfield foods manufacturing facility. Additionally, PepsiCo India is committed to providing specialized training to women from Assam, equipping them with valuable skills and contributing to the empowerment of women in the state.”

In other parts of Asia, PepsiCo made a significant announcement just last month, signaling its return to Indonesia. This strategic move involves the establishment of a new snacks facility in Cikarang, situated in West Java. The company has also extended its investment endeavors to Bangladesh, where plans for the expansion of a Lay’s factory were unveiled back in June.

Across the spectrum, U.S.-based food conglomerate General Mills is charting its expansion path in India. The company is gearing up to construct a Pillsbury baking mixes plant in Nashik city, located within the state of Maharashtra.

Nestlé, on the other hand, has made a substantial commitment to invest over $500 million in India by the year 2025. Furthermore, Mondelez International, renowned for its snacks and confectionery products, disclosed plans in August to inject an impressive sum of over $150 million into the expansion of its manufacturing facility in Sri City, located within the state of Andhra Pradesh. These investments signify the continued growth and development of the food and beverage industry in the Asian market.

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